Concerns over corruption in government have been rising over recent years.
In yet another damning poll for Rishi Sunak’s government, almost half of voters believe that the current Tory government is more corrupt than previous UK governments.
The poll, carried out by Savanta, found that 47% of voters think the current government is more corrupt than previous governments. Only 7% of voters thought it was less corrupt.
57% of 25-34 year olds say that they think the current government is more corrupt than previous governments, while the figure drops to 41% for those aged 65 and over.
When it comes to party affiliation, while only 27% of Tory voters think that the current government is more corrupt, that figure jumps to 67% among Labour Party voters and 57% of Lib Dem voters.
Concerns over corruption in government have been rising after it was found that 1 in 5 government Covid contracts awarded between February and November 2020 contained one or more red flags for possible corruption and require urgent further investigation, according to Transparency International.
In 2022, the High Court ruled that the Government’s operation of a fast-track VIP lane for awarding lucrative PPE contracts to those with political connections was unlawful. The Good Law Project reported at the time, that ‘the Judge agreed the VIP lane conferred preferential treatment on bids: it sped up the process, which meant offers were considered sooner in a process where timing was critical, and VIPs’ hands were held through the process’.
In recent months, the controversy surrounding Michelle Mone has also raised concerns. Mone, who became a Tory peer in 2015, made the headlines after it was revealed that she had referred PPE Medpro via the VIP lane system, with the company awarded two contracts worth £200m.
Baroness Mone faced allegations that she had profited from the business, a claim she initially denied. In November 2023, Baroness Mone and her husband, Doug Barrowman, confirmed for the first time they were involved in the company – including that he chaired and led the operation, and put up half the money for PPE Medpro.
Following a silence lasting almost two years, Baroness Mone admitted she regretted denying her connection to the PPE firm’s contracts.
Our latest poll shows just how little faith so many voters have in the current government, who are perceived as being in it for themselves.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward